Letter to the Editor: Don’t let misinformation mislead voters about schools



I encourage Ridgefield voters to vote yes on propositions 10 and 11, which provide sorely needed funds for the construction and expansion of new schools in Ridgefield School District to accommodate the 47% increase in student population Ridgefield has experienced since 2017. Both propositions have received unanimous support from our school board, City Council and the Port of Ridgefield Board of Commissioners.

A recent opinion piece in opposition fails a fact check on several counts. The author compares the current bond propositions to the 2017 one, suggesting that the decline in state-matching funds is a red flag. However, this is not an apples-to-apples comparison by any stretch of the imagination, as the allocation of state funds is based on a variety of factors and is not some kind of snub to our propositions. The district has secured as much state funding as it possibly can, and the $11.7 million is the maximum they can get for these bond projects.

Additionally, the author’s assertion that only the proposed K-4 school is eligible for state-matching funds is false. Contrary to this claim, the $11.7 million figure cited is for all grade levels.

Furthermore, the author selectively presents enrollment trends in neighboring districts to cast doubt on the need for additional school capacity in Ridgefield. While it’s true that some nearby areas have experienced enrollment decline, Ridgefield School District is still growing! Ignoring this fact oversimplifies the situation and fails to acknowledge that Ridgefield is not Vancouver or Portland.

The list goes on, but the bottom line is that, for all these questions and concerns raised by the author, there are reasonable and good answers, and I have yet to run into any trouble getting straight and transparent answers from district leadership.

As a coach of youth sports in Ridgefield for the past four years, I know how difficult it is to step up and be a leader versus sitting on the sidelines and criticizing every detail of a well-thought-out plan. Our district leadership has worked tirelessly to develop these propositions that address the needs of our growing student population. They have earned my trust and my vote.

Let’s not allow misinformation to mislead us. Let’s come together as a Ridgefield community and vote yes on propositions 10 and 11 and ensure that our students have the facilities they need to succeed.

Matt White